Subscribe options

Select your newsletters:

Please enter your email address:

@

Your email address will only be used for the purpose of sending you the ITER Organization publication(s) that you have requested. ITER Organization will not transfer your email address or other personal data to any other party or use it for commercial purposes.

If you change your mind, you can easily unsubscribe by clicking the unsubscribe option at the bottom of an email you've received from ITER Organization.

For more information, see our Privacy policy.

News & Media

Latest ITER Newsline

  • Gravity supports | More than just pedestals

    In the ITER Tokamak, components with the simplest of missions—like supporting a very heavy load—are pieces of highly sophisticated technology. Take the gravity [...]

    Read more

  • Plasma-facing units | China delivers last batch to WEST

    It will be very hot, next summer, on WEST plasma-facing components. Equipped with a full ITER-grade tungsten divertor, the CEA-operated tokamak will enter Phase [...]

    Read more

  • Image of the week | The welding of the feeder stubs

    Operating inside a plastic tent, this welder from MAN Energy Solutions is finalizing the connection between a feeder stub and the cryostat base. Feeder stubs ar [...]

    Read more

  • Fusion world | Technical University of Denmark wins fusion outreach grant

    A consequential grant from the Danish Novo Nordisk Foundation will permit two fusioneers from the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) to broaden their educati [...]

    Read more

  • IAEA Scientific Forum | Urgent need for a clean energy transition

    On 22-23 September the International Atomic Energy Agency held its annual Scientific Forum on the margins of its General Conference. This year's theme was 'N [...]

    Read more

Of Interest

See archived entries

Last leg of a long journey

Robert Arnoux

An artist's impression of one of the large-component convoys passing through the Pont de Mirabeau gorge. (Click to view larger version...)
An artist's impression of one of the large-component convoys passing through the Pont de Mirabeau gorge.
A year and a half from now, the first ITER components will arrive at Marseille's industrial harbour in Fos-sur-Mer. However, this will not be the end of the voyage: upon arrival at Fos, the components will be loaded onto barges, ferried across the small inland sea of Étang-de-Berre, and eventually transferred to special self-propelled flatbed transport vehicles that will deliver them to the ITER site.

The last leg of the trip is 104 kilometres long. Known as the "ITER Itinerary," it bypasses 16 villages, crosses two thruways (A7 and A51), follows part of the Durance riverbed and ends on the ITER platform, where the machine will be assembled.

Completing the roadwork has required three years of work and an investment of EUR 110 million, EUR 72 million coming from the local government of Bouches-du-Rhône, the rest from the French State.

The dock layout at Port-de-la-Pointe, on the shores of Étang de Berre, are now completed. (Click to view larger version...)
The dock layout at Port-de-la-Pointe, on the shores of Étang de Berre, are now completed.
The Itinerary is now ready to accommodate the 200 "large component convoys" that are anticipated, among which the nine 870-tonne packages of the vacuum vessel sectors; the "smallest" of the poloidal field coils (displacement: 9.1 metres) and the four 47-metre-long beams of the bridge crane that will be used to assemble the machine.

"We have managed to stick to our schedule," says Nadia Fabre, the French engineer in charge of the ITER Itinerary. "We will be able to organize the first of a series of three test convoys in June 2011, earlier than we had anticipated."

The first "actual convoy" that will deliver the first bridge crane beam is scheduled for mid-2012. Like all subsequent transports, it will travel at night, at the speed of a walking man (5 km/h) and in some cases that of a cyclist (30 km/h).

Roadwork on the ITER Itinerary has provided some 300,000 work hours to 30 local companies and 70 contractors. (Click to view larger version...)
Roadwork on the ITER Itinerary has provided some 300,000 work hours to 30 local companies and 70 contractors.
The ITER Organization has recently launched an international tender for the sea and road transportation of the components, the results of which will be known by February.

Roadwork on the ITER Itinerary has provided some 300,000 work hours to 30 local companies and 70 contractors.

An essential tool for the ITER Project, the Itinerary also created an opportunity to modernize the local road system and make it safer for all users.



return to the latest published articles